What Does the Yo-Yo Diet Do to Your Body?

Yo-yo dieting, also known as the “weight cycle,” involves losing weight, gaining it back, and dieting again so that the weight goes up and down like a yo-yo.

People typically lose weight on a calorie-restricted diet, but fail to maintain the long-term loss and regain the weight. Then the cycle repeats.

This diet has several impacts on the body, which are discussed below.


How Yo-Yo Diets Affect the Body

Yo-Yo Dieting is named after Yo-Yos (Image via Pexels/Thang Cao)
Yo-Yo Dieting is named after Yo-Yos (Image via Pexels/Thang Cao)

Most studies have shown the negative impact of yo-yo dieting on health. People who gained and lost fat over time experienced the same. This type of diet can lead to:

1) Muscle loss

Sudden weight loss can lead to muscle loss (Image via Unsplash/i yunmai)
Sudden weight loss can lead to muscle loss (Image via Unsplash/i yunmai)

Fat is regained more easily than muscle after weight loss, which can lead to more muscle loss over time, resulting in a decrease in physical strength. This can be avoided through exercise, especially weight training, which helps regain muscle. Eating enough quality protein can help reduce muscle loss.


2) Increase in body fat percentage

People end up with higher fat percentages (Image via Unsplash/Fuu J)
People end up with higher fat percentages (Image via Unsplash/Fuu J)

A study suggests that yo-yo dieting can lead to an increase in body fat percentage. One in three dieters end up gaining more weight. The weight loss phase can make them crave more food, which can lead to overeating and weight gain. fat percentage. People generally tend to crave junk food.


3) Increased risk of diabetes

A high level of insulin can lead to diabetes (Image via Unsplash/Towfiqu barbhuiya)
A high level of insulin can lead to diabetes (Image via Unsplash/Towfiqu barbhuiya)

During the weight gain phase, the insulin level can rise very easily, which can lead to insulin resistance, which is the early stage of diabetes.

A few studies have shown that yo-yo dieting increases the risk of Diabetes. The risk is greatest in those who gain more weight after dieting. The increase in belly fat is likely to lead to diabetes.


4) Increased risk of heart disease

Heart disease can be deadly.  (Image via Unsplash/Jair Lazaro)
Heart disease can be deadly. (Image via Unsplash/Jair Lazaro)

This diet has been linked to coronary heart disease, a condition in which the arteries that supply blood to the heart are affected. Weight gain and especially weight fluctuations increase the risk of heart disease.


5) High blood pressure

Weight gain can lead to high blood pressure (Image via Unsplash/Mufid Majnun)
Weight gain can lead to high blood pressure (Image via Unsplash/Mufid Majnun)

Weight gain and weight fluctuations in yo-yo dieting increase blood pressure. These fluctuations can reverse the healthy effects of weight loss on blood pressure. Studies have shown that those with a history of yo-yo dieting had less improvement in arterial pressure.


6) May increase mental health issues

Weight fluctuations can affect mental health (Image via Unsplash/Nik Shuliahin)
Weight fluctuations can affect mental health (Image via Unsplash/Nik Shuliahin)

People with a history of yo-yo dieting often feel dissatisfied with their life and health and feel out of control. Although it doesn’t seem to trigger depression, anxiety, or negative personality traits, one can feel hopeless or guilty.


7) Increased craving for junk food

Junk food can lead to fatty liver disease.  (Image via Unsplash/Robin Stickel)
Junk food can lead to fatty liver disease. (Image via Unsplash/Robin Stickel)

Fat loss leads to lower levels of leptin, the hunger hormone, which makes us feel full. Fat stores release leptin into the blood. The decrease in leptin increases food cravings and people usually end up eating deep-fried junk food.


Carry

Yo-yo dieting involves phases of weight loss and weight gain where a person follows a restrictive diet and loses fat, then ends up eating more unhealthy foods and gaining weight. This cycle repeats itself again, hence its name.

This weight fluctuation can lead to various health issues, such as increased blood pressure and cholesterol level, risk of diabetes, hepatic steatosis and heart sickness. People on this type of diet are sometimes upset with the results and often complain about mental health problems.

Frequent weight fluctuations can lead to muscle loss and an increase in fat percentage, which can be worse than slow weight loss. In most cases, the results are short-term and can leave people frustrated, which hampers long-term goals.

People struggling with fat loss should follow a systematic plan to achieve the desired results and should consult with medical professionals regularly to prevent these risks while losing weight.

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